The Baseball-Reference.com search engine is not a full-featured search engine like Google that indexes all of the information on the pages and then tries to match your search to what they think you want.
Instead, we use a set of rules to try and match your request to the set of pages on the site. Player searches go to the main player page. What looks like team searches go to team pages, etc.
Player Searches have always been handled fairly well. We search both the player's common name along with their given names and nicknames. We match on the beginning of the player's name, so partial names are allowed at the beginning of the search, though some searches will return a lot of names (we give you 50 at a time). For example, you can get to Ted Williams's page by using:
We also catalog all unsuccessful searches, so most common misspellings are included in the database as well. We'd be happy to discuss licensing our database of misspellings.
We have added in all of the current team nicknames and IDs, league IDs, and postseason series IDs, so you can now find teams, leagues, and postseason series. All of the following searches will return correct results.
Additionally all of the site directories are included in the search engine. Beyond that we track all search requests and anything that shows up at least 100 times will eventually be included in the search engine as a direct link. There are also a few quirky things that we've added just for fun.
Feel free to give us some feedback if there is a search term, feature, or shortcut you want us to add, or if something doesn't appear to be working correctly.